$10,000 No Limit Hold'em Championship

Event Info

Buy-in $9,600
Players 696

Level Info

Level 35
Blinds 125,000 / 250,000
Ante 0

Sowers, Nguyen Driving the Action; Walsh Eliminated

Pat Walsh - 5th Place
Pat Walsh - 5th Place
8:34pm -- Break Time

Players are on a break.

8:27pm -- Cimpan Not Going Gently

Andrew Cimpan is down but definitely not out. He moved all in for a total of 1.485M after Mike Sowers opened for 250,000. Sowers asked for a count but ultimately elected to fold. Cimpan flashed one card, the {3-Spades}; Sowers claimed to have folded pocket threes.

"Show him the bad penny, Andrew!" shouted one of Cimpan's supporters from the rail.

8:17pm -- Pat Walsh Eliminated in 5th Place ($310,694)

A series of preflop raises culminated with Binh Nguyen pushing all in. I'm not sure how many chips Pat Walsh had left when he called all in for less. It couldn't have been a large number, given the hand he turned over: {A-Diamonds} {2-Spades}. He was dominated by Nguyen's {A-Hearts} {J-Hearts}. Walsh's nine lives finally ran out on a board of {10-Diamonds} {7-Hearts} {10-Spades} {3-Diamonds} {5-Hearts}, although the flopped board pair let the crowd have a good sweat to see if Walsh could suck out a chop. He could not, and was eliminated in fifth place, earning $310,694 in prize money.

8:12pm -- Wow! Sowers Doubles Through Nguyen

Talk about showing some moxie. Mike Sowers opened the action with a raise to 250,000. Binh Nguyen was next to act and reraised to 750,000. That folded all other players back to Sowers, who calmly pushed all in for 2.7 million total, making the raise back to Nguyen about 2.0 million. Nguyen thought it over, asked for an exact count, then called for what was by far the biggest pot of the tournament!

Sowers: {K-Clubs} {Q-Clubs}
Binh: {7-Spades} {7-Clubs}

The crowd was on its feet, with competing camps yelling for a seven, or a king or a queen. The Sowers camp was delighted to see a flop of {Q-?} {5-?} {3-?}. The turn was another {5-?}, leaving Binh looking for one of the two remaining sevens. He didn't get it; the river fell {10-?}.

Sowers is the new chip leader after dragging this pot worth 5.5 million chips. If Nguyen had won that pot...

Tags: Binh NguyenMike SowersPat Walsh


Nguyen and Sowers Breaking Away

Mike Sowers
Mike Sowers
8:05pm -- The Six Million Dollar Man

Binh Nguyen took down another pot at showdown to eclipse six million in chips. He raised to 250,000 preflop and was called by Chris Karagulleyan. They checked all the way to the river of a {10-Spades} {K-Spades} {k-Clubs} {2-Diamonds} {7-Diamonds} board. Karagulleyan tried to buy the pot with a bet of 425,000, but Nguyen made the call and showed {A-Clubs} {7-Hearts} for two pair, kings and sevens. That was the winner.

8:01pm -- Puzzlement in the Commerce Ballroom

A curious hand has resulted in a huge pot making its way to Binh Nguyen. He raised to 225,000 preflop and was called out of the blinds by Pat Walsh. Walsh check-called 300,000 on a flop of {10-Diamonds} {4-Diamonds} {9-Clubs}, and then check-called another 600,000 when the turn fell {5-Hearts}. There was a marked increase in the level of the noise from the gallery. Both players checked the {7-Hearts} river. Nguyen turned over {K-Spades} {10-Spades} for top pair and was surely surprised to see Walsh muck his hand. Everybody in media row was speculating as to what he could have had, but it doesn't matter. The chips were pushed to Nguyen.

7:52pm -- Surprise! Walsh Doubles Again

Pat Walsh must have nine lives. How else can one explain his repeated double-ups this evening? He put in a raise over the top of a preflop raise from Cornel Andrew Cimpan, 500,000 more chips. Cimpan tanked for more than a minute before calling with a smirk. He moved in on a flop of {K-Spades} {3-Clubs} {2-Diamonds}. Walsh was the player at risk of elimination when he called all in for 820,000 total, but he had the better hand. His {K-Diamonds} {8-Spades} made top pair against Cimpan's unimproved {A-Hearts} {Q-Hearts}. The turn and river were both blanks, the {2-Spades} and the {9-Spades}.

"That's the way we show him who's boss," called out a railbird. "With king-eight offsuit. You show him!"

7:45pm -- More Chips for Sowers

It's been an up-and-down day for Mike Sowers. He's on another upswing, firing at pots and taking them down. He raised the pot to 250,000 and was called out of the blinds by Cornel Andrew Cimpan. Both players checked the {K-Spades} {5-Clubs} {4-Diamonds} flop. When Cimpan checked again after the {Q-Hearts} hit the turn, Sowers took the pot down with a bet of 325,000.

Sowers also won the next hand, and the following hand after that, cobbling together a string of pots to jump up the counts. The tide is definitely flowing in his direction. He's back to 2.85 million in chips.

Tags: Binh NguyenMike Sowers

Updated Chip Counts

Courtesy of www.worldpokertour.com:

Binh Nguyen - 3,780,000
Cornel Andrew Cimpan - 3,025,000
Chris Karagulleyan - 2,805,000
Mike Sowers - 2,650,000
Pat Walsh - 1,640,000
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson - 6th Place ($240,538)

Nguyen Chipping Up

Binh Nguyen
Binh Nguyen
7:32pm -- No Appetite for Walsh

Pat Walsh has been the player most prone to releasing his hand in the face of a reraise today. He opened the pot to 300,000, then watched as Mike Sowers moved all in for about 1.26M behind him. Walsh gave the matter about a minute's worth of thought before mucking.

7:24pm -- Another Pot to Nguyen

We haven't seen much limping today, but Pat Walsh just tried to limp into a pot from the cutoff. Action folded to Nguyen in the big blind, who popped it to 400,000. Walsh called that raise, but folded to a bet of 500,000 on a flop of {5-Clubs} {4-Spades} {A-Clubs}.

Nguyen is the chip leader at this point.

7:18pm -- Nguyen Pressures Cimpan to Fold

A raised pot between Binh Nguyen and Cornel Andrew Cimpan made it to the turn. With the board showing {J-Hearts} {8-Spades} {Q-Hearts} {A-Diamonds}, Cimpan led out for 300,000. Nguyen quickly put in a raise to 900,000. Just as quickly, Cimpan folded.

Nguyen's supporters must be drunk. Their latest chant is, "B-I-N-H-O, B-I-N-H-O, B-I-N-H-O and Binh-o was his name-o."

Tags: Binh NguyenMike SowersPat Walsh

Ferguson Eliminated; Walsh Doubles Twice

Chris "Jesus" Ferguson - 6th Place
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson - 6th Place
7:01pm -- Walsh Doubles Again

Pat Walsh looked down at {10-Clubs} {10-Diamonds} and quickly moved his stack in the middle. He was called by Mike Sowers, who showed {A-Hearts} {J-Clubs}. Could it be that we would have back-to-back eliminations? Not at this tournament. Following the established trend, Walsh doubled up on a board of {5-Hearts} {10-Spades} {8-Clubs} {2-Diamonds} {5-Diamonds}, robbing the audience of any kind of sweat.

Following that hand, the players went on break.

6:50pm -- Chris Ferguson Eliminated in 6th Place ($240,538)

The fateful elimination finally came, and it was the player who started as the shortest stack of the day. Chris Ferguson raised to 300,000 and was called by Cornel Andrew Cimpan. Ferguson checked a flop of {10-Spades} {8-Diamonds} {8-Hearts}, prompting Cimpan to move all in.

I've covered Ferguson at countless tournaments over the course of the last year, and I can never remember him tanking as long as he did here. He seemed genuinely stuck and unsure what to do with his hand. After three minutes, a few restless railbirds started shouting for Cimpan to call a clock. TD Savage immediately got on the mic and threatened to throw them out if they didn't stop. Ferguson thought it over for another 30 seconds, then called all in. He was the player at risk of elimination as the cards were exposed:

Cimpan: {4-Spades} {4-Hearts}
Ferguson: {A-Clubs} {K-Clubs}

Ferguson had gone with his gut and called all in with unimproved ace-king, but he was behind Cimpan's pocket pair. The turn was the {6-Clubs}, no help for Ferguson. He needed any ace, any king, any ten or any six on the river to stave off elimination. The river {3-Clubs} sent him to the rail, the first player eliminated from the TV table.

6:38pm -- Sowers Back to Work

Mike Sowers has lots of rebuilding to do after getting caught bluffing earlier this afternoon. He raised to 250,000 from middle position and was called by Chris Karagulleyan out of the blinds. Karagulleyan had first action on a flop of {7-Hearts} {9-Diamonds} {2-Diamonds}. He checked, then folded to a bet of 350,000 from Sowers.

6:25pm -- Pat Walsh Doubles Up

The crowd was on its feet for the second time in minutes when Pat Walsh moved all in and was called by Cornel Andrew Cimpan. Cimpan called with {A-Spades} {J-Clubs} but found himself dominated by Walsh's {A-Hearts} {Q-Spades}. A chop was a possibility as the board developed {K-Hearts} {3-Clubs} {6-Hearts} {A-Diamonds}, but the river {10-Hearts} gave Walsh the double-up, prolonging a trend that started yesterday of short stacks doubling up.

Tags: Chris Ferguson


All In and Call! Sowers Doubles Through Ferguson

We've finally had our first all-in bet that was called, but it didn't result in an elimination. Mike Sowers raised to 200,000 from middle position and was called by the big blind, Chris Ferguson. Ferguson checked a jack-high flop, {j-Clubs} {8-Hearts} {2-Hearts}, to Sowers, who bet 350,000. Ferguson moved all in and quickly Sowers called! The cards were quickly opened:

Ferguson: {Q-Diamonds} {J-Diamonds}
Sowers: {k-Spades} {K-Diamonds}

Ferguson flopped top pair but it was in rough shape against Sowers' overpair. The turn {K-Clubs} took all the drama out of the hand; it made an unbeatable set of kings for Sowers. Ferguson paid him 1.19 million after the river fell {2-Clubs}.

Tags: Chris FergusonMike Sowers

Nguyen Movin' on Up

Binh Nguyen once again has more than 3.0 million chips, courtesy of Cornel Andrew Cimpan. Cimpan, sitting in the blinds, called a raise to 200,000 made by Binh Nguyen. Both checked the {8-Clubs} {J-Hearts} {Q-Hearts} flop. The turn brought a third heart, the {9-Hearts} and a bet of 250,000 from Nguyen. Cimpan called to see a fourth heart, the {7-Hearts}, hit the river. Nguyen took the pot down with a bet of 350,000.

The crowd is getting loopy now. After the earlier "Ole, ole ole ole" chants, we've had one guy shouting "We believe in Jesus" and another group chanting "B! I! N! H! BINH!" They then catcalled at a buxom, blonde cocktail waitress who appeared on set briefly to give the players some water.

Tags: Binh NguyenCornel Andrew Cimpan

A Record?

Not even close. The standing WPT record for longest time before the first elimination is 94 hands. We're not even close to 94 hands at this point in play, although the dearth of action suggests we may get there just yet.

The last several hands have been raise-it-and-take-it affairs.